Lexicon (Dictionary) of Psychological words, terms, and phrases


Background & Introduction to Mental Health Assessments

Generally speaking, our therapeutic objectives include psychoanalytic, as well as psychodynamic principles.
The process usually begins with a full assessment of the patient's vital functional psychosocial systems and proceeds in a rather in depth, methodical and tedious analysis while always observing and focusing on the following for improvements, or alterations: Affect, Associations, Abstraction ability, Affiliation, Ambivalence, Appropriateness, and Autistic thinking

These areas serve to monitor Thought-Disorders, and/or signs of Psychotic processes.

Additionally, and on a continuous basis depressive or vegetative signs are tracked as follows: Anergia, Anhedonia, Appetite, Abulia, Athymia, Agitation, Anxiety, Ataxia, Alertness

Finally, we appraise thought content, sleep patterns, dreams, behaviors, general attitudes, attention, and concentration.
We are specifically looking for haplessness, hopelessness, suicidality, mood lability, and aggression.

All of the above inquiries and observations are done in a subtle and surreptitious fashion within the context of an in depth conversation about patient’s life history, significant events, and important milestones.

Psych and Symptoms - Annotated List

Abstraction
Referring to the ability to think, decipher, and interpret, in an abstract fashion, when needed, and void of concrete, semantic, or literal interpretations; as in understanding proverbial ideas, humor, or theoretical constructs.

Adaptation
is the reciprocal relationship between individuals and the environment: "changing the environment or being changed by it

Adaptive Regression
ability to let go of reality and experiences aspects of the self that ordinarily are inaccessible

Affect
This construct refers to the emotional intonation, and/or modulation of the facial expression: Impairments may be of limited range, as in being flat, constricted, blunted, inappropriate, or incongruent to thought and mood. Even minor irregularities in this area must be flagged.

Affection / Intimacy
The ability, as well as the desire to be affectionate, warm, and appropriately expressive, and void of constriction.

Affiliation
Referring to the innate capacity, as well as desire, and needed relatedness, for in-depth social interactions that go beyond a circle of 'relatives'.

Aggression
Argumentative, combative, defiant, threatening or menacing, Frequent power struggles, reactivity, poor impulse control.

Agitation
Excessively verbal, and/or irritable with a low threshold of tolerance, increased motor-activity. There may be pacing, restlessness, lability of mood, clenching of teeth, or fists, palm-sweating, frequency of urination, aggression. Please consider that agitation may be intra, or extra-psychic.

Alertness
Aside from normative states, we may observe hypo-alertness, attention and focusing impairments, or hyper-alertness, or hyper-vigilance …

Alexithymia
The absence of the ability to integrate, or incorporate, a wide range of 'feeling-words’, or expressions. Exceptions may include the expressions of the most primitive of affects such as anger, fear, frustration and despondency.

Alienation
Either a forced, or voluntary withdrawal, or distancing, or isolation from others, or isolation of affect. It might vary in its degree, its frequency, its duration, or it may be selective.

Alloplastic Behavior
This is a type of behavior or process whose objective is to alter the environment, instead of altering oneself. When engaged in by a person the attempt may be expressed through criminality, revolution, or other similar means.

Alluring
This is a highly emotional, attention seeking, individual who is flirtatious, seductive, provocative, highly sexualized, ego-centric, theatrical, and dramatic. This individual requires excessive amounts of validation.

Aloofness
A marked presence of general indifference, or remoteness, or withdrawal.

Ambivalence
Ambivalence is underscored with an ever-present state of conflicting ideas, attitudes, and emotions towards oneself and/or others that impede motivation, action, and decisiveness often leading to depersonalization, and debilitating dysphoria and anxiety. Ambivalence is not a synonym for indecision. Ambivalence more often than not entails contrasting feelings about the same object, whereas indecision refers to contrasting feelings of two, or more different objects. Ambivalence more often than not implies a ‘split’, or a double-bind where (a) equals Doom, and (b) equals Disaster, without a visible source of an exit. Such a dilemma, in the opinion of this author forms the foundation for anxiety states be it generalized, in the form of attacks.

Anergia
There is, or are, distinct periods of loss, or limited, or constricted reservoirs of energy, where even menial tasks appear monumental with consequent difficulties in initiating, performing, or completing tasks; Unusual protracting and procrastinating not in congruence with the individual’s previous history.

Anhedonia
This is a state of chronic or episodic loss of interest in pleasure, or socialization; absence of concern for pleasurable or sexual activities vis-à-vis dysthymic moods.

Ansomnia
A literal interpretation refers to the absence of smell or the absence of the ability to smell. However, in assessments we explore and report sleep difficulties using terms such as initial insomnia (Difficulty falling asleep), mid insomnia (waking up in the middle of the night), or terminal insomnia (waking up earlier than we planned, and unable to fall back to sleep.).

Anxiety
A state dominated by excessive experiences of fear, intrapsychic agitation, intrusive thoughts, and feelings of morbid anticipation. ... If highly remarkable, it usually includes involuntary physiological reactions such as frequency of urination, shying respirations, tachycardia, sweating, and muscle weakness. It is usually episodic, and transitory. The individual may fear collapse, fainting, dying, or going crazy.

Apathy
A marked presence of dispassion, or detachment, or unconcern, or indifference.

Appetite
Impairments in this area include loss, absence, and selective; ravenous, excessive, anorexia, gluttonous. Symptoms are patient reports, significant gain or loss of weight, food or taste selectivity or sensitivity.

Appropriateness
A marked absence of the ability to be socially, or behaviorally, appropriate, usually exceeding the limits of decorum.

Appropriateness
When this term is used in a socio-cultural context, it refers to socio-cultural codes of morality, ethics, and morays. Remarkable impairments are indicated by failure to observe boundaries, or etiquettes, or protocols, or by defects in automatic, and even retrospective insight, or sensitivity into the effect their behavior, appearance, or words, may have upon others.

Aprosodia
Referring to the emotional quality of speech modulation, and intonation, or to the ability for understanding non-verbal language, subtleties, or nuances. Prosody may be expressive, receptive, or both.

Arrogance
Demonstrated by being haughty, pompous, lacking in humility, boasting, and/or self-aggrandizement.

Assertiveness
Characterized by a profound inability to assert, or take control; Needy, clinging, indecisive. The individual is unable to function outside the bounds of a close relationship. They experience serious difficulties in initiating without assistance, support, or reassurance.

Associations
This area of exploration is needed in that it may point to an impairment of the ability to maintain a cohesive and coherent train of thought, void of loss of associations from one thought to another resulting in going off in tangents, or engaging in word-salads, or introducing neologisms. Associations may be circumstantial, tangential, loose, or disorganized.

Ataxia
Lack of constancy of ideas, and/or restlessness. Psycho-neurologically it may refer to a degenerative disease, or loss of power for voluntary movement.

Autism
This is indicative of a proclivity towards social withdrawal, and fantasy rather than assimilating to, and integrating external objective reality norms, ideas and behaviors.

Autonomous Functions
Presence of certain, conflict-free functions that are capable of functioning continuously, e.g. learning, memory, perception, and concentration

Autoplastic Behavior
changing one's own behavior or self in order to adapt.

Awkward
The individual may be referred to as odd, nerdy, geeky, dorky, socially inept, or lacking in dexterity, or social skills, or conversational skills, or social appropriateness; they may, or may not be excessively concerned about social ridicule or humiliation.

Defensive Functioning
ability to use unconscious mechanisms to reduce anxiety and painful experiences

Drive and Affect Modulation
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Ego Psychology
Focuses on the Ego portion of the Personality and its relationship to other aspects of the personality and the external world. Having the ability to ADAPT to social environments

Haplessness
Referring to a general absence of happiness underscored with feelings of emptiness, worthlessness, and resignation.

Human behavior
is the result of individuals adapting to their environments

Impulse Control
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Insight - Retrospective
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Integrative Functioning
ability to integrate parts of the personality to resolve conflict

Introject
is an unconscious mental image, or ideas, values, presumptions, interdictions, introjected and internalized by children in the course of development and influences from parental figures, and significant others. Introjects the voice of conscience is usually a parent's voice internalized Introjection occurs when a person internalizes the ideas or voices of other people-often external authorities. Introjects impact on the development of moral dictums that occasionally may form the bases for racism, sexism, and tacit stereotypes.

Jealousy paranoia.
A term used to describe unwarranted verbal, or behavioral demonstrations of excessive jealousy and possessiveness.

Judgement
ability to identify and weigh the consequences of a behavior before acting

Mastery Competence
ability to successfully interact with the environment

Mood Lability
It usually defines excessive mood lability or shifting within a short period of minutes and usually not exceeding a couple of hours, without a return to a normal mood.

Motor-behavior
This is s a significant marker for detecting hyper-kinesis, intra, or extrapsychic agitation, excessive and unmitigated levels of energy, restlessness, and aspects of responses to stress, or conflict.

Object constancy/Permanence
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Object Relations
Ability to interact with others

Parasomnias
Disruptive sleep-related disorders that may include one, or more of the following symptoms: Talking, sleep-walking, talk, sleep terrors, nightmares, sleep paralysis, abnormal movements.

Pervasive distrust, or suspiciousness
This is a state underscored with suspicion, Hypervigilance, and not trusting others. Some individuals are hyper alert and hypersensitive to non-existent meanings between words, or to someone looking at them, and are virtually unable to fully comprehend humor.

Pressure, and qualities of speech
Speech-content is overelaborate, often circumstantial, imposing, and its amplitude is significantly louder than normal at a highly remarkable rate (fast).

Reality Testing
ability to differentiate between accurate perceptions of the self and the environment

Regulation and Control of Drives and Impulses
ability to control drives, impulses and affect in accordance with reality

Relatedness
Its absence or limitations may impede, or interfere with our level of likeability, and/or our wish and desire to relate to others, feel connected, or being sought after as a friend, or companion.

Sleep Impairments
Initial, Mid, and Terminal insomnia evincing difficulty falling asleep, walking up in the middle of the night, or waking up earlier than expected. There may be parasomnias, hypersomnia, sleep apnea , narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome,.

Self and Object-Representations
The term "Object" refers to persons, and especially significant others such as parents; that is the object or target of an individual's perceptions, sentiments, and/or intentions. This sets the stage for our assumption, impressions, and expectations of others. "Relations" is a reference to interpersonal relations and introjects derived and based on past experiences and relationships. 'Self and Object-Representations' is a term circumscribing the inner images of the self, significant others, and in general how one relates to people in general.

Self Observing Ego
........

Sense of Reality
ability to not only perceive things accurately but to experience them that way as well

Splitting
involves no choice. It is an automatic defense in which bad traits are attributed to a "bad object" (devaluation) and "good qualities" to a "good object" (idealization).

Stimulus Barrier
ability to maintain current level of functioning despite increases and decreases in stimulation

The Ego ( Ego Psychology)
Believe that the ego is the portion of the personality that is responsible for human behavior. It has the ability to function Autonomously

Thought Processes
ability to have goal-directed, organized, and realistic thoughts

Unforgiving
Such persons are either unable, or unwilling to forget, or forgive, with a propensity for holding grudges.